Monthly Archives: February 2014

99%

Ok, I thought I’d just better expand on my post from yesterday as, reading back through it, it seems a little negative towards “preggos” and the DEIVF journey.  99% of the time I’m fine.  I can deal with preggos, toddlers, kids.  99% of the time I’m really excited about DEIVF, and can’t wait to get started.  There’s just the odd little moment (or day) where I rue what we cannot have, where I grieve the loss of a genetic child.

Most of the time I don’t think about the fact that my child and I won’t have a genetic connection, it just doesn’t worry me, regardless of whether we become parents through adoption or DEIVF.  The funny thing is that at the moment I have less of an issue with this lack of connection via adoption than I do with DEIVF.  The lack of a genetic connection with an adopted child doesn’t even factor on my radar of things to care about, I don’t think about it at all, it doesn’t hurt.  Yet the thought that our DEIVF child isn’t genetically mine (occasionally) triggers emotions of loss and sadness in me.

Investigating this more deeply, I think my conflict on the DEIVF front but not the adoption one stems from my value of equality.  With adoption, my husband and I are on even footing, neither of us are contributing to the genetic makeup of our child, it’s fair.  With DEIVF, I’m not pulling my weight but my husband is, it’s lop-sided, and lop-sided drives me nuts.  As an example, I’ve been with my husband nearly sixteen years now, and for the majority of that time (approx. 13 years) we contributed equally to the fiscal health of our relationship, regardless of the fact that for most of this time he’s earned significantly more than me.  I was always adamant that I would contribute the same amount to our account/bills/mortgage despite the fact that most months it would stretch me financially.  When we finally altered the way we contributed it took me ages (at least a year) to stop feeling guilty that I wasn’t pulling my weight.  I hate feeling like I owe people.  I guess this highlights another aspect to my struggle with completely accepting DEIVF.  I hate owing people yet I will owe our donor the world (regardless of whether she feels this way or not!).

I realise that with DEIVF I would be carrying the baby, delivering the baby, caring for him or her (that nurture is just as important as nature).  It’s just hard at this stage, especially after three years of trying to conceive and not achieving a single pregnancy, to believe that we could ever get to that point, so I find it hard to envisage that I could ever do my bit to contribute.  This is what I need to deal with.  I need to realise that I WILL do my piece eventually, and I think that once we get closer to cycle I will start to feel like I can offer more to the equation – and therefore care less about any genetic connection (thanks OnFecundThought!).

Deep down I know that I will love our child regardless of their genetic make-up, I know in the very core of me that genetics are irrelevant.  I know that whether our child is a mix of both of us, one of us, or neither of us, he or she will be the most important person in our lives and I will love them with every bit of my heart.  So I need to face to my superficial fears, and my inability to concede that lop-sided is ok.  I need to accept I need help, and focus on the 99%.  I need to, and will, make that 99% 100.

P.S.  If anyone has any tips on ways to work through this, I’m all ears.  I read somewhere that writing to the child that will never be helps so I might give that a go….but I’m open to suggestions….


Riding the rollercoaster

It’s official.  I am an evil person.  A girl at work is pregnant and I can’t handle it.  It’s an unannounced pregnancy but I worked out she was (because I’m a crazy infertile who has an obsession with these things) and it has been confirmed by a third party.  Anywho, she’s one of those people who you can’t imagine has a flaw – she’s absolutely gorgeous, she has a good job, recently got married, and is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.  She’s fabulous.  We’ve always got on well, but now that I know she’s pregnant I can hardly look at her.  Even worse she doesn’t know why so I will just seem like the ultimate bitch.  Every time I open my mouth to say “hi” I can feel my voice start to break, the tears well up, and I get overwhelmed with the unfairness of it all.  I mean she only got married 5 minutes ago!  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish her to be un-pregnant, and I wouldn’t wish fertility struggles on anyone let alone anyone as lovely as this woman, I just hurt so much at the fact that things aren’t easy for us, and the fact that I may never be a mum.

I know things are on a roll on the donor egg IVF front, and I’m so grateful for that, but at the moment I’m battling so hard with the feelings of redundantness that it’s a bit of a struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  As I’ve mentioned before, a lovely friend has offered to be our egg donor, and it’s sooo amazing.  I just feel so useless at the moment as there’s nothing at all I can do to expedite the process, I just have to sit back and wait while someone else (hopefully) makes our baby.  This is what I think of as the bottom of the rollercoaster, the low point, the drop from a great height.

Our donor has received her information and testing forms from our clinic and will start everything rolling in a few weeks time.  First, blood tests to check for cystic fibrosis, infections such as hepatitis/HIV/syphilis, and to test her AMH level to make sure she should have enough eggs.  If all that comes back normal then the doctors and counsellors visits begin, before another infection test for her and one for her husband.  Hubby and I will also have counselling appointments (and perhaps one with all four of us), as well as infection testing a month out from cycle.  It seems like a lifetime away at the moment, although I know it’s not far, so in the meantime I’m left with the task of curing my feelings of uselessness, and righting my views of the world.

I’ve got to a point where most of the time I’m fine with being around pregnant women and toddlers (although as mentioned at the start of this post, it’s still hard when it’s people I know), so I just need to rid myself of the blame and resentment of not being able to make my own baby.  I’ve been compiling a pros and cons list in my head to help with this and so far the donor list is far outweighing the own-eggs list, which is a good thing.  My list so far looks something like this:

Pros for our DEIVF cycle Cons for our DEIVF cycle
  • It’s less likely our child will be shy like me.
  • He/she won’t inherit my unruly, ‘looks like it hasn’t been brushed’ hair.
  • They’re less likely to have dodgy eyesight
  • Our child is more likely to have dimples (which I love).
  • Our child will be more likely to be confident
  • They won’t inherit my poor circulation, hyperhidrosis, or constantly feeling cold.
  • They probably won’t be as fiery as me
  • They’re less likely to have depressive tendencies/lack of confidence in self.
  • They will inherit traits of my hubs and my friend who are both gorgeous people inside and out.
  • Our child won’t inherit my shoulders (my favourite bit of my body).
  • We’ll never know who would’ve won the argument on who our child will look like & what features they’ll have (hubs wanted them to have my eyes, I wanted them to have his etc.).
  • My genetic line stops here…this could of course be considered a pro too I guess but I find it sad all the same.

The more I think about it the more I realise how similar my donor and I are, and I am truly truly grateful that we not only have someone generous enough to offer this gift but also, should we be lucky enough to have a child from this process, that they won’t be all that dissimilar to me regardless of having no genetic connection.  And here we are at the top of the rollercoaster again, feeling happy and lucky and blessed (in a non-religious way).

As a side attraction to this fairground ride, I received a phone call from Child, Youth & Family (the government agency that handles adoption in New Zealand) to say they’d received our adoption application and were sending feedback forms to our referees to gather their opinions of us and our potential ability to be parents.  It’s exciting that things are progressing on that front as well, so if the DEIVF ride breaks down or it put out of commission, all is not lost.  Now to work out how to stay at the top of this rollercoaster……


The Unnameable Post

WARNING:  this post is all about my period, so if you’re a guy reading this, or just don’t want to know then it might be best you stop reading now.

Ok, you have been warned…..

 

I don’t understand the point of getting my period.  I remember as a teenager and into my twenties that my period was an inconvenience, some annoying little consideration when planning for a holiday or supermarket shop.  Through the last few years of TTC it’s been absolutely heartbreaking, a monthly reminder of another failed attempt.  Now it’s just fucking frustrating.  I mean, my body doesn’t work, I can’t produce decent eggs, I’m never going to get pregnant the ‘normal’ way so why does my body pretend that I will.  Um hello body parts, do you think you could talk to each other for once?!?  It’s like working in the most disorganised office ever, all the workers are just doing their own little thing and not communicating!  I’m surprised I manage to get myself out of bed in the morning! (cue joke from husband that I don’t)

Imagine not ever getting your period if you were truly infertile, it would be emotionally easier wouldn’t it.  Aside from knowing from a young age that you couldn’t have a child the ‘normal’ way (and therefore would have longer to adjust to this fact), you also wouldn’t have to go through the years of trying, trials and testing only to find out your body was useless all along.  Imagine not experiencing that monthly heartache, or being able to skip all those charming visits with dildocam, or not spending thousands of dollars on procedures and processes that were never going to work to start with.  If you could just do some kind of litmus test to show where on the spectrum you sit so you could skip straight to that step and deal with it.  Ah, so much simpler, I guess it’ free to dream.

So it’s that time of the month again and my little clockwork cycle goes on.  I could set my watch by it. I don’t need the constant hunger, the short-temperedness, the cramps or the spotting, I KNOW when it’s period time because it’s always 28 days to the minute!  What would usually be the dream cycle length for trying to conceive is now just a pain in the neck (or perhaps more aptly, the tum).  I wish my body would just realise that its eggs are shit and call this whole period thing off.  I mean, I don’t want to go through menopause or anything, I’d like to be able to have a child when we can coordinate a donor cycle, but it would be nice if my body could just carry on as usual without the need for tampons/cramps/moods/hunger…..just push pause until we’re ready to start DEIVF.  Yeah, thanks body, that would be great.

Ok, rant over.  As you were.


The ball is rolling…

We’ve just had our first counselling session and we’ve started the process towards DEIVF (donor egg IVF)!   I was pretty nervous going into the session, scared that we might not connect with the counsellor, anxious as to what they would say.  I guess I was also a bit worried that she might declare us unfit parents even though I know that a) that’s not at all what she’s there for, and b) we will be good parents, or at least no worse than anyone else.  Turned out I had nothing to be worried about.  The counsellor made us feel comfortable at once, and the 45 minutes session flew by in no time at all.  I feel like we covered so many topics I almost wish we’d recorded the session so that I could remember them all.

We talked about where we were at in the infertility process (she’d actually done her homework and knew why we were there!), how we’d dealt with our IVF failures, and how we felt about using donor eggs or pursuing adoption.  We mentioned we’d had two people offer to be our donors and she asked whether we were happy with them (of course we are – we’re so lucky!) or wanted to look for someone else (no thanks).  She asked what we would tell family and friends (most already know we’re looking at donor eggs), and what or whether we would tell our child (of course we will and from a very young age so that it is just a normal part of life instead of some great secret).  I came out of the session feeling like we were on the right track, that as a couple we’d already talked through most of the potential issues, and that our beliefs about disclosure were consistent with what’s currently considered best for the child.  I came out feeling good!

While I did come out of the session feeling like we were already doing the right things, she also highlighted some points to think about, such as the reaction of the donors family to the process and to the child should we be lucky enough to have one – would they be ok with accepting the child as that of a friend not a relation (e.g. not viewing the child as a grandchild)?  She also mentioned that some donors get quite upset if the process doesn’t work, feeling that by giving a couple a healthy egg, they’re giving that couple 100% chance of having a child.  While it would be nice if that were the case, life just doesn’t work like that and while the odds are slightly higher than normal IVF, the success rate for DEIVF in NZ is still just under 50%.

Another thing she mentioned was that she’d seen relationships between the donor and intended parents go bad (both with known and initially unknown donors).  A common theme for this was that the donor didn’t feel like they were appreciated enough, a tough thing for an intended parent to hear as, should we be lucky enough to have a child at the end of this, our donor will have literally changed our life.  How to show enough appreciation to the person who has made your dreams come true? How do you show this without it dominating lives or overly glorifying something you want your child to see as normal.  It’s hard, but we have a few ideas up our sleeve.

We talked through the pros and cons of donors, the basics of legal rights and donor/child registration, as well as some of the things she’d seen in her thirteen year experience at our clinic.  She told us about some helpful websites (and later sent through the links), and showed us some helpful books for telling your child (whoa whoa whoa! We need to get there first!).  She helped us to come to a decision about the best donor for us, and mentioned a few of the other steps in the process – another session with her, counselling for the donor, and counselling for both parties together if we want it (I like the idea of this as the dynamic is so different with someone facilitating, you talk through things you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself).

Lastly, she told us to go home and email the donor coordinator at the clinic to ask for a timetable of what needs to be done and when, and how much time we need to allow for the process and for our funding.  She gave us some handouts of things to think about with known donors, and an article about families created through donation (she also sent through a link to another article via email too – she rocks!).  And then it was done.  45 minutes just like that.  Off we went to digest all the information and to contact the coordinator.  The DEIVF process is in progress, and we’ve emailed the donor coordinator….now to chat to our potential donor, I hope she hasn’t changed her mind!


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